In a ceremony not often seen in Santa Barbara , the Spanish government issued the royal Orden de Isabel la Católica the evening of Wednesday, April 25.
The award went to David Bolton, the executive director of the California Missions Foundation.
Since he joined the California Missions Foundation board in 2013, Bolton has supported the preservation of local Spanish heritage, promoted the school field trips to the missions and lectured on the history of California missions.
Bolton was knighted at the commander level by Consul General Javier Vallaure de Acha, who represented Spain on behalf of King Felipe VI.
The ceremony took place at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park in downtown.
The order is one of the highest honors presented to those working to benefit Spain. Bolton spoke of his and other’s work to preserve the Spanish heritage and buildings in the area.